We all want true love in our lives. We want that special someone with whom we can share our deepest feelings, our time and space, and our future.
Love is the most amazing feeling, but searching for it can bring a lot of pain.
Many of us fear the loss of love, believing that a rejection from a partner or being alone will be too much to handle. The truth is that we can take a lot more than we think we can.
Loss of love is not always the worst-case scenario when it comes to relationships; one of the worst situations we can find ourselves in romantically is to be with someone who claims to love us but doesn’t.
This person wastes our time and energy, reducing our chances of meeting someone who does love us.
So, how do you know if he’s pretending to love you? And why would he pretend at all?
Six signs he pretends to love you
If the following describes the guy in your life, then he’s showing signs that he doesn’t love you but pretending to for his own gain.
1. Your place in his life is unclear
If you’re unsure where you stand with him, you may feel confused about his feelings for you. Someone who truly loves you will prioritize healthy communication and let you know where you fit into his life.
If his love is real, he respects you and your time. He will be honest with you about their other priorities and let you know where you fit, even if it’s not exactly what you want to hear.
They’d be open about their future plans whether you’re in them or not.
If he pretends to love you, then he’ll say that he loves you and may even buy gifts or other symbols of love, but he won’t enter a healthy conversation about where you stand in each other’s lives.
2. You’re not on his list of priorities
The person who loves us should make us a priority in their lives. That doesn’t mean they have to prioritize us above everything else, such as work, hobbies, or future goals, but we should at least be on the list!
If he claims to love you but doesn’t try to maintain the relationship, it sounds like you’re not one of his priorities, and he may not love you. Even if he thinks he loves you, actions speak louder than words.
Understand that it’s normal and healthy for partners to have their priorities, and it’s unhealthy when one partner tries to shape the other’s priorities for their gain. Don’t be that person.
Still, see how he prioritizes his time and ask yourself if your value is recognized.
3. He hides the relationship
If he’s all about you when you two are alone but acts like he barely knows you when you are out in public, he may be pretending to love you.
It’s normal for people to dislike public displays of affection or to post about their relationship on social media, but a loving partner will not try to hide you.
If he’s reluctant to tell anyone about you and would rather keep the relationship private, that’s a red flag.
It’s one of the most obvious signs that he doesn’t really love you. Someone who loves you wouldn’t care if others know.
If they care too much about what others think about your relationship, then maybe love isn’t the feeling he has for you.
4. He focuses too much on physical intimacy
A healthy relationship involves far more than sex. Some guys will be all about you, showing you their sweet side and being incredibly charming when they want physical intimacy.
They may even tell you how much they love you and how incredibly beautiful you are. Be mindful of such behavior.
How do they act when they don’t want intimacy? How do they behave after an intimate moment?
Of course, physical intimacy is vital in a healthy relationship, but it shouldn’t be the main focus.
At least other types of intimacy should get as much attention, such as emotional intimacy and vulnerability, creative and experiential intimacy, and quality time spent together.
If these areas of intimacy are lacking but he’s all about sex, he may be pretending to love you.
5. He lacks respect
Love and respect go hand in hand.
If he loves you, he’ll show you the utmost respect. If he ever disrespects you, he’ll acknowledge it and make sure to correct it.
The same goes for you. If you don’t respect him, you don’t love him.
No relationship will last long without respect. At least no healthy relationship will last long without it.
Some people stay in relationships where their partner doesn’t respect them for a long time, believing that things may change or that one partner’s behavior and attitude are ‘just temporary’ and caused by external factors.
If he doesn’t show you the respect you know you deserve, then he doesn’t genuinely love you. Remember that it’s essential to communicate what respect means to you as soon as possible, either in the early days of the relationship or whenever an issue presents itself.
There is a basic level of respect we should all show, but it’s also important to communicate to him your perception and personal feelings about what respect means to you.
Notice how much respect he shows in different contexts. If he seems respectful and kind when things go his way but rude and offensive when things don’t, that’s not genuine respect.
6. He doesn’t care about your friends and family
Your friends and family are an extension of who you are. These people you love are incredibly important to you, so they should matter to him.
If he loves you, he’ll make an effort to get along with your friends and family. Even if he doesn’t get along well with a particular friend or family member, he’ll communicate that to you healthily.
If he doesn’t love you, he won’t make any effort regarding your other relationships. He may be sweet and kind to you when you are alone, but if he’s dismissive and avoidant regarding the people in your life, he may not be your best partner.
Three signs he wants you to leave him alone
Some guys will pretend to love you at the beginning of a relationship, but as the relationship progresses, they disconnect. It’s completely normal to have a change of heart regarding a relationship, and that’s not something anyone needs to feel guilty about.
Still, that change of heart should be followed by honest and healthy communication. If he doesn’t love you, he won’t prioritize healthy communication but instead will withdraw from the relationship without explaining why leaving you wondering what happened.
Below we’ve included some signs that he doesn’t love you and wants you to leave him alone but avoids the serious talk he knows is important.
1. He leaves you on read
We don’t have to reply to text messages immediately. Just because we’re reachable all the time thanks to our phones, that doesn’t mean people get access to you whenever they feel like it.
Still, it’s nice to reply to messages from important people in our lives, even if we don’t do so immediately.
If he reads your messages but takes an incredibly long time to reply, that’s a clear sign that he doesn’t want to talk and wants you to leave him alone.
It doesn’t take long to explain in a text that he’s busy and can’t talk right now or that he’ll reply later. If he doesn’t make any such effort, then he’s not that interested in talking.
2. He’s happy around others but bored around you
How is his behavior when you are together? How is it different from his behavior when others are around?
Suppose he’s pleased and lively when others are around but disconnected and bored when it’s just the two of you. In that case, he’s probably not interested in the relationship and would rather spend time elsewhere.
3. He chases other women
It’s normal and healthy for a guy to have female friends outside his romantic relationship.
In fact, a lack of any female friends is a red flag. Why doesn’t he have healthy platonic relationships with women?
Still, it may be because he’s losing interest in you if he’s flirting with and chasing other girls while not showing you the love and attention you want and deserve.
Ideally, he must be honest about his feelings and free you from the commitment. However, if he’s emotionally immature, he won’t communicate honestly and instead will engage in behaviors that make you take the initiative by deciding to leave him.
It can be hard to take that initiative, especially if you like the closeness and are reluctant to be alone. However, understand that it’s far healthier to be single than to stay with someone emotionally immature and unable to communicate effectively.
Why would he pretend to love me?
There are many reasons why one person will pretend to love another. It’s easy to get mad at someone who acts that way – disrespectful, unhealthy, and emotionally immature.
However, don’t lose your head about it. It’s not about you and your worth but theirs.
Understand that someone who pretends to love another person does a great disservice to themselves. Each person is responsible for developing enough self-awareness, maturity, and accountability to open up and love another person.
If someone can’t do that, despite how hurtful they are towards those they have fooled, it is ultimately that person who will suffer the most.
Emotional immaturity is one of the biggest reasons one may pretend to love another. They want something like sex, intimacy, and affection, but they believe lies and deception are how to get it.
No matter how much you like him and want to forgive him, remember that pretending to love someone is manipulative behavior and should be a red flag.
It hurts when you realize someone has lied to you about their feelings, but you can recover.
If anything, hope, pray, or wish for that person they grow up. If they pretend to love people, they will end up alone and face the reality that they lived a life of inauthenticity, the pain of which is intense.
You may not see all the signs outlined above in your partner, but even just a few of the signs indicate that some healthy communication is necessary.
You don’t need to dismiss your gut feeling and wait for things to change.
If you believe he doesn’t love you, tell him. Have deep conversations about it and try to make things clear.
Above all else, focus on your personal growth. Staying in a relationship that makes you feel confused about the level of love and uncertain about your place in his life is a significant hindrance to your personal growth.